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> Keeping fish alive during late June storm and subsequent 10 day power outage, Kapampa fry released during storm...
post Sep 15 2012, 10:50 PM
Post #1

Joined: 19-August 09
From: Mid-Atlantic, US
Posts: 968

Don't know how many others were affected by the storm in the eastern US on June 29, or by associated power outages, etc?

I was without power for a total of ten days-- no generator. Was a job keeping fish and tanks alive in the heat for ten days without power or filtration. Out of my various battery operated air pumps (which I've had for years) only one would work. Had to move it from tank to tank until I finally located another one a couple hours drive away. So pretty much had to rely on changing water twice a day to replenish oxygen and keep ammonia down during most of the outage. This meant hauling up to 100 gals or more per day of water up from a nearby river in 5 gal buckets (including water for our horses until we got the local fire dept. to come fill up our troughs for the last few days of the ordeal). Turns out the ph, etc. of this river water is very close to my tank water.

Kept filter media alive by putting it directly into my tanks (after some rinsing) meaning it got oxygen and fresh water with water changes. Also-- arranged media or media containers in such a way that current created by battery air pumps flowed through or near them to create some measure of water flow. This actually worked fairly well and some testing showed beneficial bacteria were still helping to control ammonia/nitrite in these conditions, with slight detectable ammonia according to tests, but really quite low.

Treated canister filters-- Eheim classics-- a little differently. In cooler weather, media inside a canister will live longer than some may think, due to dissolved oxygen in the water in the canister and osmotic pressure inside the filters making this oxygen accessible to beneficial bacteria. But in hot weather it can go bad pretty quickly. Since the Eheims have inline water valves on the intake hose right down at the filter, you can turn off the valve and shut off any siphon action from the tank. Open the valves back up and you get a gravity feed that fills the canister with water. So, I removed top/pump section of the Eheims (and left them off) and at least twice a day emptied water out of the canister into a bucket (valve on intake hose closed), then open the valve to gravity feed water back into the canister to cover all media. This kept media alive and well and prevented bad smelling toxins from building up in the filter. In fact, after a few of what amounted to media rinses in this manner, water poured out from the canisters looked very clean and smelled very fresh, better than the tanks themselves smelled, the beneficial bacteria apparently getting time to quite thoroughly clean the water in the canister.

By keeping media in main tanks as explained above, it filters/tanks recovered pretty quickly, water looking good within a few hours to a day or two after power back, depending on tank.

Kapampa fry-- I had a female Kapampa tumbling eggs then what I thought would be fry leading up to the storm, but under the circumstances of the outage I wasn't expecting much to come of it, besides being so occupied just trying to keep the tanks alive and all the other inconveniences during the outage and no light on in the tank to watch her by. So was something of a surprise when I thought I saw something in among the media pads, etc. that were in the tank (arranged like a sort of tent with the airstone in the middle to optimize water flow through or past the media as much as possible)-- got the flashlight, and saw a couple of 1/2-5/8 inch fry darting around-- turned out she'd released a few.

After power came back I put these in a growout tank and eventually stripped more fry, to total 15 survivors. Couple had float initially, which was cured with epsom salt within a day or two. All 15 original survivors still doing well. icon_thumbsup.gif

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post Mar 3 2013, 01:14 PM
Post #2

Joined: 27-December 07
Posts: 98

that, my friend, was a lot of work.. i bought ups units, the type that are used on pc's, used at an auction, tore them down and replaced the batteries.. gives me 48 hours (no lights).. last month i went ahead and popped for a generator, but at my age i need almost as much life support as the fish... great work, the storm missed us in SC, this time...

it's not a disease doctor, i can stop buying fish at any time, some days i don't even listen to the voices

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post Mar 4 2013, 03:02 PM
Post #3

Joined: 13-December 12
Posts: 62

It is a lot of work and very similar to what I had done a few times prior to purchasing a generator. Main purpose though was that without one, we have no heat or water...

Only thing I did differently was with the canisters. I just pumped the priming valve a few times a day to circulate some water through them. Basically the same end result.

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